Mobile Users In India To Touch 1.4 Bn By 2020

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 17, 2015

mobile users

The number of mobile subscriptions in India is likely to jump to 1.4 billion by 2020, against 970 million in 2014, says telecom major Ericsson. The increase is due to the whopping rise in affordable devices and services, according to a report.

The India appendix of the Ericsson Mobility Report, notes that LTE subscriptions are likely to reach more than 230 million, forming around 17 percent of the total subscription base by 2020.

The report notes that 3G subscriptions are expected to grow from over 120 million in 2014 to around 620 million by 2020, with the proportion of WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions in the total subscription base touching 45 percent by that time, the report said.The report reveals that the GSM/EDGE subscriber base is expected to peak in 2015 and expected to decline thereafter as subscribers migrate to 3G services.GSM/EDGE technology currently has the widest reach in India, with 95 percent population coverage.

WCDMA/HSPA covered more than 35 percent of the Indian population at the end of 2014, and is expected to cover approximately 90 percent by the end of 2020. Additionally, around 40 percent of the population will be covered by LTE networks by 2020.Affordability of smartphones will drive the overall affordability of mobile broadband in India.

The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach over 750 million by 2020, up from 130 million in 2014, the Ericsson study said, adding that the continued growth in smartphone subscriptions will lead to an accelerated growth in data usage; monthly mobile data consumption is expected to increase 18-fold by the year 2020 over current levels.

“Maintaining and improving quality of the user experience is likely to be at the top of Indian operators’ agenda over the coming years,” Chris Houghton, Head of Region India, Ericsson, told PTI.Houghton said that a network with a mix of macro sites, micro sites and small cells will need to be established to manage coverage, capacity and network performance for the best user experience and to meet the growing demand for data services.

“Affordability of smartphones will drive the overall affordability of mobile broadband in India,” the report stated.The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach over 750 million by 2020, up from 130 million in 2014.”The continued growth in smartphone subscriptions will lead to an accelerated growth in data usage. Monthly mobile data consumption is expected to increase 18-fold by the year 2020 over current levels,” the report said, adding that Video streaming accounts for the most used mobile data service among Indians, followed by social networking, the report noted.

An interesting observation is that the proportion of people aged over 50 who use smartphones quadrupled between 2013 and 2015, although that form a small base. During the same period, there was a three-fold growth in the proportion of 31-40 year-old mobile data users, it noted.

The global Ericsson Mobility Report released earlier stated that India added the most net mobile subscribers in the first quarter this year at 26 million.